3 Secret Ingredients to Success
Spring is in the air in Utah and hopefully you are thinking about how you can get out and enjoy the fresh new season with your dog. To get you started on the right paw, here are a few ways to keep your experiences positive and, keep both you and your dog, eager for more!
As fun and exciting as outdoors can be, we all know that life with your dog can get overwhelming. Higher distraction environments create potential for a lot of unknowns. But, success comes to those who are prepared, have a plan, and have already anticipated potential hurdles. So begin by asking yourself these questions:
Are you prepared? You should be ready to communicate with your dog from the moment you clip a leash on your pup. Do you have the right tools such as a leash, high-value food, a favorite toy?
What is your plan? Let this moment be bonding time with you and your dog. What skills will you work on? What location will be appropriate for your dog’s current skill level?
What could cross your path? Is there always a dog waiting to greet you on a certain corner? Will kids be on their way to school? Is it a windy day with leaves blowing down the street?
Now, prepare yourself for the three secret training ingredients to success! Drum roll please…
The Full House Dog Training method always includes the following factors to success and you should apply these every time you are working with your dog.
1. DISTRACTIONS - What environmental stimuli will your dog experience? Think about your dog’s perceptions of these triggers, not yours. Adjust your expectations for quantity, speed, and intensity of any stimulation that will generate an emotional response from your dog.
2. DISTANCE - You can adjust the distance at which you experience distractions to increase success and up the challenge when your dog is ready to jump to the next level.
3. DURATION - How long are you expecting your dog to sustain a given behavior before you reward him? If the distractions are more intense, you should be rewarding at shorter durations. As your dog becomes more capable of maintaining composure you can increase duration and reward less frequently.
Your role in any adventure with your dog is to keep him safe and successful. If he is having an emotional eruption, you have probably put him in an environment that exceeds his skill level and you need to immediately adjust the three secret ingredients listed above. Most importantly, learn from that experience and recognize that future situations may need to be adjusted to keep your dog successful.
The BIGGEST MISTAKE dog owners make is that when they take their dog out, their expectations exceed the dog’s skill level. Manage your own expectations and expose your dog to environments where he feels comfortable and can recognize your communication.
Reach out and let us help you plan your outdoor adventures so you can find the joy and minimize the frustrations when working with your dog in more challenging environments!